Time for our fantasy takes on the NFL news of the day …
The Jets sign Plaxico Burress: Don’t look now, but the Jets now have two former Steelers playing prominent roles in their offense. The team re-signed Santonio Holmes earlier in this free-agent frenzy, and now Plaxico Burress will be wearing green after signing a one-year deal with the team. This is a perfect landing spot from a fantasy perspective, as Burress will no doubt be the favorite to replace Braylon Edwards in the pass attack. Considering that he hasn’t played in a football game since 2008, however, fantasy leaguers should expect Burress to have some rust out of the gate. But based on his skills and the favorable situation he enters in the Big Apple, I’d take a chance on the veteran in the middle-to-late rounds as a borderline No. 3 or No. 4 fantasy wideout.
Sims-Walker lands with the Rams: Remember when Mike Sims-Walker was a potential fantasy sleeper in Jacksonville? Well, he’s back on the radar after signing a one-year deal with St. Louis. With no true No. 1 wide receiver in the mix and Josh McDaniels calling the offensive shots, Sims-Walker will have a chance to produce solid totals. Remember, Brandon Lloyd came out of nowhere last season to become the top-scoring fantasy wideout under McDaniels. I’m not saying Sims-Walker will follow in his footsteps — he needs to be more consistent and stay out of the trainer’s room — but he’s clearly someone to target in the middle-to-late rounds.
Marion Barber in the Windy City: A former fantasy star in Dallas, Barber has seen his value fall over the last two years. Now in Chicago, I don’t see him suddenly re-emerging into a viable option — especially with Matt Forte ahead of him on the depth chart. Barber, who has averaged 3.8 yards per carry since 2009, could have some late-round appeal if he earns a goal-line role or emerges as Forte’s backup as a potential handcuff, but his days as a prominent fantasy player are clearly over. With Barber in the mix, Chester Taylor could be released.
- The Broncos have agreed to terms with Willis McGahee, who will come in and serve as a backup to Knowshon Moreno. Considering that the team was tied to DeAngelo Williams, the fact that McGahee was added is good news for Moreno. Sure, he could lose some goal-line work in the offense. But Moreno is guaranteed to start and see most of the team’s backfield touches.
- With the additions of CBs Nnamdi Asomugha and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, DE Jason Babin and DT Cullen Jenkins, the value of the Eagles defense is rising quickly. On a unit that already included stud DE Trent Cole and CB Asante Samuel, not to mention DeSean Jackson in the return game, it’s hard not to expect this unit to become an elite fantasy option.
- The Vikings added WR Michael Jenkins to their pass attack, but Bernard Berrian remains on the roster and will compete for a starting role. That said, outside of Percy Harvin, the receiver who benefits the most from Donovan McNabb’s presence is Visanthe Shiancoe. McNabb’s always loved to throw to his tight ends, so Shiancoe could re-emerge as a nice option late in drafts.